Bush the Courageous

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Over at the Weekly Standard (motto: Palin was our idea!), Fred Barnes has penned a laughable early Valentine our most recent ex-president, ticking off W’s top ten (“at least”!) “achievements,” all of which, according to Barnes, were driven by the man’s unflinching courage. Included on Barnes’ list:

• Unlike most politicians, Bush had the courage to significantly increase the federal government’s role in the public schools. Ballsy!

• Bush had the courage to torture people!

• Bush courageously pandered to seniors by signing the prescription drug benefit, the largest new federal entitlement program in 40 years. Hey, it takes guts to tell the most active and politically powerful voting age group that you want to give them free stuff.

• Bush bravely fought to vastly expand his own power, and to govern in secrecy. Unheard of!

• When his disastrous war in Iraq began to implode, Bush fought to save his reputation by calling for more troops and more money. What fortitude!

Bush was an opportunist. “Courageous” is about the last word I’d use to describe him. One of his first major policy announcements was to ditch his free trade principles in favor of steel tariffs–payback to the blue-collar voters who helped him carry West Virginia. He likes to credit himself for fighting for private Social Security accounts, but he dropped the plan the moment it became politically unpopular. He cut taxes. He fought wars. He spent ungodly amounts of money. Those are all about the most popular things a president can do. Yes, Bush stuck to the war in Iraq well after it become politically unpopular, but only because the alternative was to go down in history as one of the few presidents to lose a war.

Is it too late for Bush to give Barnes some sort of medal?

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39 Responses to “Bush the Courageous”

  1. #1 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I don’t read the Weekly Standard. I only see Fred Barnes on Fox News when I’m channel hopping during commercials on CNN. I keep hoping that they might let slip some hint about what it is they smoke over there at Fox that made them so happily delusional about the Bush administration.

    Oh yeah, I forgot. I also like the short skirts and tight tops they make the women wear.

  2. #2 |  Brandon Bowers | 

    Ironically, I don’t think Bush would be comfortable with another man fellating him like that.

  3. #3 |  chance | 

    I used to read Fred Barnes’s columns from time to time, and often thought they were some kind of Colbert-like parody. He long ago crossed the line from simply being strongly partisan to being sickeningly sycophantic.

  4. #4 |  TomMil | 

    Ironically, I don’t think Bush would be comfortable with another man fellating him like that.

    Brandon,

    I agree Bush is definately a bottom, farmore comfortable doing the fellating. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  5. #5 |  TomMil | 

    jeez, the snark loses it’s sting if ya write it like an illiterate.

  6. #6 |  Posts about Top Ten Ways or Things as of January 20, 2009 | The Lessnau Lounge | 

    [...] you spend more time exploring its picturesque and awesome hot spots. Read on to know more… Ten Bush the Courageous – theagitator.com 01/20/2009 Over at the Weekly Standard (motto: Palin was our idea!) … s top [...]

  7. #7 |  Steve Verdon | 

    When his disastrous war in Iraq began to implode, Bush fought to save his reputation by calling for more troops and more money. What fortitude!

    Ahem. Uhhhmmm well…yes, but isn’t this precisely what the Economist article said as well? Perhaps this was actually the right move…granted the previous move was wrong, but that doesn’t make this one the wrong one.

  8. #8 |  jwh | 

    I’ve got an idea……why don’t we wait to see which of W’s failed policies The One actually changes before we try to rewrite his legacy……..

  9. #9 |  Jason | 

    B.O. will make GWB look like Thomas Jefferson.
    http://www.rightklik.net/

  10. #10 |  Josh | 

    There’s another horrendous Ode to Bush penned by Marc Thiessen in the Wall Street Journal, claiming Bush “rescued our economy and saved our financial system” thanks to the bailout.

    Oooookay.

  11. #11 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “Bush was an opportunist.”

    Correction:

    Bush was the frontman for his opportunistic string-pullers.

  12. #12 |  Whim | 

    Compassionate Conservative =

    Fewest pardons of any President.

  13. #13 |  scott in phx | 

    And of course Bush did this all by himself, and OVER the objections of the Congress.

    Over the objections of Democrats in Congress, like Biden and H Clinton, that voted FOR the war.

    And all those other Democrats that kept voting for all those increased spending bills.

    Yeah, Bush was a dissapointment in many ways, but he had the complicit involvement of the OTHER party in ALL of his transgressions (including torture). Those Dems like Hillary sure showed their courage when they voted FOR the war. (snark)

    Now the other party is in POWER. And arguably in a far greater position of POWER than Bush and the Republicans ever had.

    Why does that not make me feel good, or hopefull? Why do I suspect we won’t see any courage from King Barry either?

  14. #14 |  Collin | 

    “B.O. will make GWB look like Thomas Jefferson.”

    Posts like that only serve to reinforce the notion that Libertarians are simply Republicans who don’t have the balls to come right out and admit to being Republicans.

  15. #15 |  Les | 

    Collin, Jason is no libertarian. He’s a Republican loyalist. Folks like him like to pop up on libertarian boards once in a while so they can pretend for a few moments that they believe in freedom.

  16. #16 |  B | 

    …and post gratuitous links to their blog…

  17. #17 |  fishbane | 

    Les, of course he’s no libertarian. The problem is that he makes us look bad. I have enough trouble admitting to being libertarian with well educated people who actually understand what the term means, because of jerks like that poisoning the water.

    And Republicans wonder why lots of us bail to the Dems. At least they know that support is conditional.

  18. #18 |  Aspasia | 

    Jason appears here to post one liners and a link to that site that I refuse to look at. Ignore.

    Scott has a point. I absolutely detested Bush and his policies, but he had help from both sides of the aisle on far too much of these decisions. Again, I say, if the Dems had enough bones to form a collective spine, we’d be in a very different place right now.

  19. #19 |  Brock | 

    On a related note, I guess the GWB Libertymeter went to back to TX early? When’s the big debut of the BHO Libertymeter?

  20. #20 |  Andrew Williams | 

    Fred Barnes gets my vote for biggest POTUS brownnoser.

  21. #21 |  Les | 

    Scott has a point. I absolutely detested Bush and his policies, but he had help from both sides of the aisle on far too much of these decisions.

    This is true, but I don’t know if Scott has a point. It depends on if, when someone criticizes the Democrats, Scott quickly points out that the Democrats are only half of the problem, and we should fear, loathe, and criticize the Republicans just as much.

    Both parties are full to overflowing with ineptitude and corruption. This fact is what, in my opinion, is most frequently forgotten, and most in need of reiteration. Scott, if that’s your point, then I’m in complete agreement.

  22. #22 |  old | 

    Bush had the courage to torture people!

    And I have feeling they will get away with it. They might not ever be able to travel outside of the U.S. again, but I don’t think that will bother them. Of course, if the black helicopter crowd is right, this might not matter, and the torturers might be brought to justice when the U.N. takes over. I guess they will all move to Alaska which will have seceded by then. We shall see.

    It really is a shame. Torture only stains the reputation of the country, and gains nothing.

  23. #23 |  Bernard | 

    Per Scott’s point the democrats were most certainly culpable on the spending (and who would expect anything else?), but there are still two key things you might have missed.

    Firstly, the article is about how great President Bush is, not how ‘just as bad’ the democrats were. If every critique of anything Bush did has to include the line ‘the democrats were just as bad!’ they’d all be very long, tedious and inelegant.

    Secondly while many people voted for the war it, unlike the spending (which is most always popular with politicians) was very much the baby of Bush and his cabinet. By using the enormous political capital 9/11 gave him to bludgeon through the war and demonise anyone who dared dissent he ensured that no mainstream politician on either aisle would dare speak out or vote against him. When, as president, you apply that pressure the policy becomes very much your policy for better or worse.

    That fact, along with the ineptitude of post-invasion planning, mean that the ‘democrats are just as bad’ clamour can only be applied to the war by people with short memories or who have an agenda to make Bush seem like just another president who came and went.

  24. #24 |  Mike | 

    “I’ve got an idea……why don’t we wait to see which of W’s failed policies The One actually changes before we try to rewrite his legacy……..”

    Well if no policies get changed that just might mean we elected another idiot. I don’t think that is a likely outcome here, but lack of change certainly wouldn’t prove the correctness of W’s policies.

  25. #25 |  Michael | 

    The Medicare prescription coverage is sorely lacking! My mother was paying out close to $400 a month, when her “gap” kicked in. They did not completely fix the problem. Why did they not give the seniors the prescription coverage that the congressmen and senators have? The fact was, it is as stated above. They wanted the seniors TO THINK the problem was being fixed! If we weren’t wasting the money on everything else,there would be plenty to help the sick and elderly with their prescription bills!

  26. #26 |  Aresen | 

    Bernard @ #23: “Secondly while many people voted for the war it, unlike the spending (which is most always popular with politicians) was very much the baby of Bush and his cabinet. By using the enormous political capital 9/11 gave him to bludgeon through the war and demonise anyone who dared dissent he ensured that no mainstream politician on either aisle would dare speak out or vote against him. When, as president, you apply that pressure the policy becomes very much your policy for better or worse.”

    While the war was Bush’s policy and he did use every jingoist trick to demonize those opposed to it, the fact remains that the members of congress (‘MOC’) are supposed to be people of judgment and leadership. If you can’t show spine at critical times, as a very few did in this case, you shouldn’t be a MOC. (Or a Secretary of State.)

  27. #27 |  claude | 

    Hmm no radley yet today huh? :(

    Ryan Frederick – Opening arguments r expected to begin this afternoon in the ryan frederick case. The Jury pool has been wittled down to 26 and is expected to be down to 14 soon. I cannot believe some of the jurors dismissed so far:

    “Jury selection in the murder trial of Ryan Frederick, charged with killing a detective during a drug raid, got off to a shaky start Tuesday when the first three prospective jurors said they believed the defendant must prove his innocence.”

    “One of Frederick’s attorneys, James Broccoletti, asked the first three jurors whether a defendant needed to prove his innocence.
    As all three nodded in agreement, Broccoletti raised his eyebrows.”

    “Because of the seriousness of the charge, you think he’s got to step up to the plate?” he asked. “Yes,” they answered, with one adding he would hope to hear from the defendant.”

    That is from yesterdays article
    http://hamptonroads.com/2009/01/after-delays-jury-selection-begins-frederick-murder-trial

    I really dont know what to say after reading something like this. I feel ill.

    Here is todays article
    http://hamptonroads.com/2009/01/opening-arguments-set-afternoon-frederick-trial

  28. #28 |  Brandon Bowers | 

    Hung over today, Radley? I don’t blame you, it’s not often there’s a good excuse to drink on a tuesday.

  29. #29 |  HTownTejas | 

    I though immediately of W. yesterday when Barack blurted out this monstrous lie:

    “….America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.”

  30. #30 |  Tokin42 | 

    Radleys concern over the jailhouse witness list turned out to be right (it was a little obvious, but he still made the right call)

    http://hamptonroads.com/2009/01/opening-arguments-set-afternoon-frederick-trial

    Ryan Frederick was “stoned out of his mind” and “in an angry, blind rage” when he killed a Chesapeake detective during a drug raid a year ago and later told a jail inmate that if he had more ammunition, “he would have taken them all down,” a prosecutor told jurors Wednesday.

    “He’s over there” in jail “bragging about it. He thinks he’s going to beat this charge,” James Willett, one of three prosecutors, told the jury during opening statements.

  31. #31 |  claude | 

    You can read the summary of todays hearing at tidewater liberty.

    http://tidewaterliberty.wordpress.com/2009/01/21/ryan-frederick-trial-begins/

    Ryan has a real good attorney.

  32. #32 |  Andrew Williams | 

    But why did Broccoletti ask for the jury to be removed before playing the video of the Det. who said Ryan WASN’T high? Wouldn’t you, um, WANT a jury to see that?

  33. #33 |  Alex | 

    ” When his disastrous war in Iraq began to implode, Bush fought to save his reputation by calling for more troops and more money. What fortitude!”

    This is the kind of BDS you expect to read in a freshman paper, not the blog of a political magazine editor. What does “fought to save his reputation” even mean? You could subsitutute “did what he thought was the right thing,” “finally realized that this is a war and it has to be won before there can be a political solution,” or the more Barnes-like “bravely opposed most politicians and foreign countries with a strategy that military experts almost unanimously agree on.” None of those four is necessarily more correct than the other, but we’re not Bush, and we don’t know what the hell he’s thinking.

    This is really a pet peeve of mine. Rationally opposing policies is is great and necessary, but to assign, without evidence, malicious (in this case murderous) motives on someone is bush-league bullshit.

  34. #34 |  Alex | 

    “Ryan Frederick was “stoned out of his mind” and “in an angry, blind rage” when he killed a Chesapeake detective during a drug raid a year ago and later told a jail inmate that if he had more ammunition”

    If there’s one person who’s ever smoked pot on that jury, Frederick is walking.

  35. #35 |  claude | 

    “But why did Broccoletti ask for the jury to be removed before playing the video of the Det. who said Ryan WASN’T high? Wouldn’t you, um, WANT a jury to see that?”

    Well perhaps certain evidentiary arguments have to be made outside the presence of the jury.

  36. #36 |  ktc2 | 

    Is Mr. Balko at the trial? Is that why he’s been missing from this site the last day or so?

  37. #37 |  claude | 

    ktc2, i was wondering that too. I imagine he could have been subpoenaed (sp).

  38. #38 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office…”

    This line from Obama might sum up the differences between me and the state. I believe we succeed (by some definition of success) in spite of those in high office who at every turn screw things up.

  39. #39 |  Michael | 

    Well, got a negative vote. I guess I must say that the cause for unaffordable prescription bills is the result of insurance deciding to pay for medication, in the first place. Is it not surprising that, when insurance funds were made available, the number of $100+ for prescriptions sky-rocketed? The patients have the idea ,that “its not me footing the bill, so who cares!” There is plenty of blame to go around for this one!

    And why my mother, who has lived at or below the poverty level all of her life, has to be sucked dry because the congressmen, who get their prescriptions as part of their package, should make the poor pay for a big part of theirs! If we stopped paying the big pharma for their expensive prescriptions, maybe there would me no need for the program. My mom can get a lot of her meds for under $4.00 at Walmart, just not those $100+ kind. I just think it is not fair for the congressmen to have Cadillac insurance and give the elderly the Hyundai type. Now, if they want to give up theirs, I might be more easy to deal with!

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